Dr. Nancy Garland Ph.D. with the Department of Energy’s fuel technology
program kicked off day two of our National Travel Seminar with a
discussion of fuel cell potential and challenges. Currently, the largest
market for fuel cells are stationary, portable and auxiliary power as
well forklifts. More than 75,000 fuel cells have been shipped worldwide;
however, technological, economic and institutional challenges are still
Steve Przesmitzki, Department of Energy discussed E-15 and other
gasoline blends. Steve highlighted that of the 240 million cars sold in
the United States only three percent of new sales are
hybrids. Additionally, there are over eight million E85 vehicles on the
road today, but only 2,200 E85 pumps, many of which are located in
Minnesota. Jon Doggett, National Corn Growers Association, challenged our
class to solve the national budget deficit – noting the latest buzz word
in Washington is EMH – Everyone Must Hurt!
Neil Rossmeissel, Office of Biomass Program, and Sarah Lynch,
Interagency Biomass Research and Development Board, discussed the
biomass program, which is working to advance biomass technologies in
support of the Department of Energy’s mission to strengthen America’s
energy security, environmental quality and economic vitality through
feedstocks, conversion technology, integrated bio-refineries,
infrastructure, bio-power and advanced biofuels.
The final portion of the visit to the Department of Energy included
presentations by Barbara Mariner-Volpe, Thomas Rueckert, and Jim
Ahlgrimm. The current U.S. energy supply is eighty-three percent fossil
fuels; however, shale gas resources, solar power and wind energy may be
avenues to reduce U.S.’s dependency on oil.
Our next stop was the Office of the Director of Intelligence. Linda
Millis, ODNI Speakers Bureau; Dr. Larry Kerr, Senior Bio Advisor,
National Counter Proliferation Center; Fernando Keller; and Mark Urlaub,
Senior Analyst, Federal Bureau of Investigation discussed the
intelligence community- the accomplishments and challenges. Seventeen
entities integrate and share national security data and information. A
highlight of our visit was a tour of the NCTC Watch Center. Staff from
intelligence agencies monitor incoming data, trends and news feeds as
well as provide the President and senior cabinet members with
twice-a-day briefings regarding threats and trends.
At the Farm Credit Administration we met with Lee Strom (IALP Class of
’88), Chairman and Mike Stokke, Head of Government Affairs. Lee and Mike
discussed the history and purpose of the FCA as well as how the agency
handled the 2008 economic decline.
Our evening ended with a reception sponsored by the National Council of
Farmers Cooperatives, which featured American Farm Bureau Federation Bob
Stallman and Chuck Connor, NCFC President. Bob and Chuck spoke at length
with us about trade, Farm Bill negotiations, federal budget problems and
attacks against agriculture. President Stallman highlighted the Farm
Bureau’s effort to curb the EPA.
We want to thank everyone who took time out of their schedules to meet
with us as well as to Monsanto who sponsored our seminar.